Friday July 15, 2011
If you, like many others, are trying to figure out if hormone replacement is appropriate, or even safe, for you it is important to educate yourself the best you can. With all the available information it is overwhelming to figure out where to start. The true answers are only found in the scientific studies. Over the years there has been important scientific evidence that has been published discussing the difference between conventional hormone replacement and bio identical hormone therapy.
A large government funded study known as the Womens Health Initiative linked the long term use of conventional hormone replacement therapy(CHRT) in menopausal women to an increase of heart disease, stroke, and breast cancer. Incredibly,over half of the women in the study quit prematurely due to side effects before the study was shut down early due to the more serious problems that developed. From studies, we have learned that synthetic hormones (commonly a component of CHRT) differ in their activities at the receptor level. In many cases synthetic hormones will have different effects or even opposite effects as compared to their Bio Identical counterparts. Therefore synthetic hormones do not provide the same total physiologic activity as the hormones they are intended to replace and may encourage undesirable side effects not found with BHRT.
Many men and women along with their physicians have been leaning in favor of BHRT that in many cases are compounded by a Pharmacist especially for the individual. The reason for this is simple. Bio Identical hormones are molecularly identical to your naturally occurring hormones. When properly dosed, they are significantly better tolerated. There is the rub. Even Bio Identical hormones can cause problems if dosed improperly. So how do you know what your hormone levels are at baseline and after replacement has started?
This is the first and most critical part of a successful BHRT regimen.